Posted by Doug White on Monday, September 8, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
You’re a dedicated accounting professional who hunkers down and produces stellar results, yet you feel like your efforts go unnoticed. Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to take a more proactive role in advancing your career.
While you don’t need to behave like a blustering braggart to get noticed (and get promoted), increasing your visibility does require strategic thinking, finesse and some self-promotional savvy. Here are five tips for gaining the recognition and rewards you deserve, while also positioning yourself for a promotion:
1. Go public with your ideas.
Is your brain brimming with bright ideas that could help your organization generate more revenue, trim expenses or streamline work functions? You can’t afford to keep them to yourself. Be bold by pitching your solutions to management and speaking up in meetings. In today's business world, it's the confident communicators, innovative thinkers and smart risk-takers who get promoted.
2. Continually grow your skills.
Demonstrate your passion for accounting by expanding your abilities in every way possible. From attending brownbag training workshops to getting involved with your company’s mentoring program, take advantage of the professional development opportunities your employer offers. In addition, join professional accounting and finance associations, go to conferences, pursue relevant certifications and read specialized publications to keep up with the latest industry trends. The key is to then share your knowledge with your boss and coworkers. Being regarded as a go-to expert can significantly enhance your career prospects.
3. Make your networking efforts an “inside job.”
Many professionals think of networking only in terms of developing outside connections. But expanding your reach within your own company is just as critical. Establish strong relationships with colleagues throughout your workplace. Sign up for cross-departmental initiatives, attend company-sponsored events, and generally aim to be an outgoing and helpful team player. The more people who know you (and know what you can do), the more likely you are to learn of advancement opportunities and rise within the organization.
4. Consistently convey your value.
If you work tirelessly behind the scenes but shy away from the spotlight, you need to take center stage. The truth is that quietly producing quality work might not be enough to get promoted. You need to, well, promote yourself. Tactfully toot your own horn by periodically apprising your manager of your successes. Add punch to your status updates by quantifying your contributions, linking your efforts to the positive impact they’ve had on the bottom line.
5. Take initiative.
One of the best ways to attract your supervisor’s attention is to step up to the plate when others step back. Seek challenging new assignments and volunteer to take the lead on managing demanding special projects — even if it requires you to move beyond your comfort zone. Displaying drive and initiative can pay big dividends. You’ll not only hone valuable leadership skills and discover untapped talents, you’ll build a reputation as an indispensible employee.
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